A week ago, Dorothy and I both wanted steaks so we chose Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar in Fountain Valley to do my restaurant review. We’ve eaten at Applebee’s casual dining, family restaurants in El Paso, Texas; in La Habra, California; and in other cities around the U.S. We’ve always enjoyed the experience.
Fresh brewed iced tea, $2.49
Interestingly, we have normally gone there for lunch. This was our first time for dinner as best I can recall. Admittedly, their commercials for steak dinners had whetted our appetites. We ordered fresh brewed iced tea, and chips & salsa while we made our main course decisions. They have good iced tea.
Chips & salsa, $3.49
This is one of my favorite appetizers at Applebee’s. They have what I consider a great salsa – lots of crushed tomato, not too much kick, some heat in the after taste. The chips were thin and crisp – I thought they were greasy; Dorothy said no; it’s due to the oil they use now to be healthier. Some of the ‘healthier’ oils change the flavor and feels greasier.
Cabernet Mushroom Sirloin, $13.99
Dorothy asked for a substitution of the garlic broccoli for the seasonal vegetables. She told our server three times because she kept saying that Dorothy wanted to substitute the potato. She had it wrong as I was the one that wanted to substitute the potatoes for the broccoli. So instead of the herbed potatoes Dorothy did want, she got the garlic broccoli and seasonal vegetables.
The real issue, however, was that her medium rare Cabernet Mushroom Sirloin came out medium well. The replacement was initially medium rare until the hot plate continued to cook it so that again it was too well done. The fact that it was a thin steak made it harder to actually prepare it medium rare. This time Dorothy just ate it anyway.
Fortunately, the flavor itself was good. The Napa Valley cabernet sauce with Portobello mushrooms and onions definitely helped make this 7 oz. grilled sirloin moister.
Shrimp 'N Parmesan Sirloin, $17.49
I too ordered a steak. I selected the Shrimp 'N Parmesan Sirloin because I wanted the 9 oz. sirloin instead of the 7 oz. I asked Britney to have them hold the Parmesan cheese. Like Dorothy’s steak, mine arrived medium to medium well. I initially cut into the thick end which was medium so I was going to accept it. When I checked the other end, it was medium well through and through.
Britney was gracious about taking it back for me. When she returned, it was medium rare on the thick end and only ½ to 1/3 of the steak was well done so I too accepted it.
My shrimp were nicely firm, small sized shrimp with Cajun seasoning. They made a nice addition to my steak. I substituted the broccoli for the potatoes.
Normally Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar’s side salad would use iceberg lettuce. I appreciated our server’s substituting Romaine lettuce for me as I dislike Iceberg. This was a very basic salad with a couple grape tomatoes and a couple slices of cucumbers.
Dorothy and I skipped dessert so I can’t report on them.
Despite Dorothy’s frustration over her sides, I felt that we had average service as our server was attentive. She refilled my fresh brewed iced tea and Dorothy’s water at least once, twice on the iced tea. She also checked back on the steaks both times.
Overall, we were disappointed in this particular meal. We were surprised too that they made no other effort to show that they cared about our having to wait to have both steaks re-done.
As I rarely have hamburgers when I go out to dine, I am probably missing out on a meal they do well. We are still fond of Applebee’s restaurant so will return again. We so love their Ruben sandwiches and their Chinese Oriental Salads. And we’ve previously enjoyed their Sizzling Skillet Fajitas.
Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar
- 18279 Brookhurst Street
- Fountain Valley, CA 92709
Hours: Mon-Sun 11:00 AM to 12:00 AM
- Anaheim Convention Center, 800 W Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA 92802: 9.3 miles
- Disneyland, Anaheim, CA: 9.8 miles